Air Force, News F1, Libya, Libya fighter, Libya Mirage F-1, Libya warplane, M1 fighter, Mirage F1, Mirage F1 fighter jets
Libya has formally approached Malta to return two Mirage F1 fighters that defected there recently.
The Libyan government has formally requested the return of two Mirage F1 fighter jets flown to Malta by defecting pilots on Monday.
The aircraft are under armed guard at the airport. The pilots have requested political asylum and their case is being considered. The pilots claimed they flew to Malta after being ordered to bomb fellow Libyans in Benghazi.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said there has been no contact with the Libyan government on the fighter aircraft.
The F-1 was designed to replace the Mirage III, and remained the standard French fighter before the Mirage 2000 entered service. Although it has a smaller wingspan than the Mirage III, the F1 nevertheless proved to be clearly superior to its predecessor. It can carry up to 40% more fuel, has a shorter take-off run, a superior range in lo-lo missions, and better maneuverability.
Dassault designed the Mirage F1 as the successor to its Mirage III and Mirage 5 fighters. Unlike its predecessors, it has a swept wing mounted high on the fuselage, as well as a conventional tail surface.
Meanwhile, Malta International Airport remains a hive of activity, with many countries using it as a transit point for the evacuation of their nationals.Informed sources said that 41 flights have been operated to Malta from Tripoli since Monday, while Air Malta has operated 10 flights from the Libyan capital, including two today. All Maltese who were at Tripoli airport were picked up.
- Times of Malta
- Global aircraft
Air Force, News a330, Aerial tanker contract, Airbus, airbus a330, b767, Boeing, Boeing 707, Boeing 767, military contract, USAF
One of the most hotly sought-after military contracts in U.S. history is expected to be issued this week, perhaps the finale in a scandal-ridden bureaucratic nightmare that has pitted two global aerospace titans in a high-stakes competition for a decade.
At issue is a $35-billion prize purse to replace the Air Force’s fleet of Eisenhower administration-era aerial tankers, which refuel warplanes while in flight. The Pentagon has twice awarded the contract, only to see its decision overturned amid accusations of underhanded politics and discriminatory rule-making.
Follow-on tanker contracts could involve building 300 to 400 additional tankers valued at more than $100 billion over several decades, analysts said.
The decision has national implications and strong political overtones. Both companies have boisterous contingents in the halls of Congress pushing for one side or the other because of the huge number of jobs at stake nationwide. For example, if Boeing wins, the bulk of assembly work would be done in the Seattle area. EADS has plans for an aircraft production plant in Mobile, Ala.
But much of the work is slated for California, with airplane parts being manufactured across the Southland. Take Parker Aerospace in Irvine. It’s set to be a supplier on either EADS North America’s offering of a modified Airbus A330 passenger jet or Boeing’s contender, which is based on its 767 airliner.
Dozens of other local aerospace companies also stand to benefit, depending on the outcome, including Raytheon in El Segundo, Alarin Aircraft Hinge Inc. in the City of Commerce and Lamsco West Inc. in Santa Clarita.
But getting to work on the program hasn’t been easy. It’s been a decade-long affair for the Air Force to replace the oldest planes in its fleet. Many of the planes — based on 50-year-old heavily modified Boeing 707s — are run-down, rusty and corroding.
The military depends on the tankers all over the world because they refuel bombers, fighters and cargo planes in midair beyond America’s shores. Still, the Pentagon has been unable to award the contract.
- Los Angeles Times
Army, News aircraft models, airplane models, Development and Engineering Center, helicopter models, K-MAX, K-MAX helicopter, Kaman Aerospace Corporation, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, Natick Soldier Research, NSRDEC, plane models, Unmanned K-MAX, Unmanned K-MAX helicopter, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Kaman Aerospace Corporation, a subsidiary of Kaman Corporation, and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) recently made aviation history with the Unmanned K-MAX helicopter by successfully completing multiple guided airdrops via sling load at 10,000 ft above sea level.
In four separate flights conducted on January 24-25, 2011 at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground near Yuma, Arizona, the K-MAX successfully airdropped 16 payloads; 10 GPS guided Joint Precision Aerial Delivery Systems (JPADS), two of which were triggered remotely from the Unmanned K-MAX ground control station. Payloads included medical equipment, food, simulated leaflets and bulk cargo.
Among the “firsts” achieved by the optionally piloted aircraft are being the largest payload, 4,400lbs, airdropped via sling load from a helicopter (four 1,100 lb payloads); the highest altitude for payloads airdropped from a sling load (10,000 ft above sea level); the first airdrop of four guided JPADS systems from a sling load; the first airdrop for the High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachute system from a helicopter sling load (prototype HALO Leaflet Delivery System); and first demonstrated non-line-of-sight (NLOS) ability to dynamically re-task slingload JPADS ground target points.
The effort was executed under a Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) with support from the Office of the Secretary of Defense Rapid Fielding Directorate (OSD RFD), Joint Medical Distance Support and Evacuation Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JMDSE JCTD) with U.S. Joint Forces Command as Operational Manager and US Army NSRDEC as Technical Manager.
Richard Benney, division leader, Aerial Delivery Equipment and Systems Division of NSRDEC, said “This was a very impressive and successful demonstration.” Benney also said, “The Unmanned K-MAX met all of our objectives. Transitioning this capability to the warfighter could be the next step.”
Terry Fogarty, general manager of Kaman’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems product group, said “These airdrops prove K-MAX’s ability to provide a safe, low-cost supply delivery method to the troops.” Fogarty also said, “The aircraft’s ability to successfully perform high altitude missions contributes to the flexibility and security we can offer the Marines with K-MAX.”
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Air Force, News AAF, Afghan Air Force, Afghan Air Force C-27, C-27 fleet, C-27A, C-27A Spartan, Lt. Col. Christopher Smith, Maj. Todd Andrewson, Spartan, Spartan plane
The Afghan Air Force received an addition to its forces with the arrival of the 10th C-27A Spartan at the Afghan Air Force Base in Kabul Feb. 20, marking the half-way point in the AAF’s C-27 fleet as it continues to build to 20.
Not only valuable for Afghanistan’s burgeoning cargo capabilities, the addition of another C-27 provides a greater training platform for the AAF as it gains a greater proficiency in the aircraft.
The C-27A is a rugged, twin-engine turboprop aircraft with short take-off and landing capability. The Spartan is well suited for Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain and limited road network. These obstacles make air power critical to the mobility of the Afghan National Security Forces. A C-27 can carry up to 20,000 pounds of cargo and fuel and operate on unimproved airfields as short as 3,000 feet, which allows access to airstrips unreachable by most fixed-wing aircraft.
“This increases the aircraft available and hours available for training, allowing Afghan pilots a greater opportunity to fly and become accustomed to the aircraft,” said Maj. Todd Andrewson, a C-27 pilot adviser with the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron who flew the aircraft to Kabul from Naples, Italy.
This impact to the AAF is seen as an immediate one by Lt. Col. Christopher Smith, the 538th AEAS commander, who said the aircraft is scheduled to begin taking part in training operation within two days of its arrival.
“It just feels good to see growth on the flight line,” said Major Andrewson, who had brought in C-27 number four nearly 10 months ago when he first arrived to Afghanistan.
Major Andrewson also believes that the training and operational benefits that the new C-27 provides is another step towards the ultimate goal of a fully independent Afghan air force.
The Afghan Air Force is expected to receive its 11th C-27A Spartan in early April. These new aircraft will provide increased support for the Afghan National Security Force.
Seen as a key contributor to the future of the Afghan Air Force, the C-27 is phasing out the Antonov-32 as the centerpiece of Afghanistan’s cargo/transport mission. The Antonov-26 was discontinued from service in the AAF earlier in the year, and the AN-32 has a projected end-of-service date of June 2011.
- Aerospace & Defense News
News aircraft models, airplane models, EMB-145, EMB-145s, Embraer, Embraer EMB-145, helicopter models, Indian AEW&C, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Embraer has unveiled the first of three EMB-145s ordered by India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as testbeds for an indigenously developed airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system.
The first aircraft, equipped with the antenna structure for the phased-array radar under development by DRDO’s Bengalaru-based Center for Air Borne Systems (CABS), will be flight tested at Embraer before its scheduled delivery to India in August.
CABS will begin integration of the AEW&C mission system, which includes the active, electronically scanned array radar, electronic support measures, satellite communications, datalinks and operator workstations, once delivered.
According to V.K. Saraswat, director general of DRDO, the full configuration is expected to fly next year. The three EMB-145 AEW&C testbeds will be used for a range of tests including cold-weather trails in Alaska, he says.
Saraswat says the indigenous AEW&C development program has tough milestones to meet, but is on schedule. The building blocks of the mission system are undergoing simulation testing in the laboratory and rooftop tests of the S-band radar are under way at CABS, he says, adding, “The system is ready to take to the aircraft and begin integration.”
Although the antenna is mounted above the fuselage like the Saab Erieye phased-array radar on Embraer’s existing EMB-145 AEW&C, the Indian aircraft incorporates several improvements. These include an in-flight refueling probe; a new electrical generation system with a second auxiliary power unit for the mission suite; and a new cooling system.
Following development, the three aircraft are scheduled to become operational with the Indian air force under a two-pronged approach to deploying an AEW&C capability, Saraswat says.
This involves the purchase of Ilyushin Il-76s equipped with Elta’s Phalcon phased-array radar, now operational with the air force, while the indigenous AEW&C system is being developed in parallel.
As a next step, India plans to follow the three EMB-145s with development of an indigenous AEW&C system with the active-array radar mounted in a stationary rotodome. The platform for this system has not been selected, Saraswat says.
Although externally similar to Erieye, the antenna for India’s radar is shorter and deeper as it includes modules for the identification friend or foe system along the bottom of the transmit/receive array, says the director of CABS and the AEW&C program manager.
News Afghan C-27, C-27, C-27 Spartan, C-27 transport plane, C-27A, C-27A Spartan, transport plane, U.S. - Japan relationship
In response to a secret U.S. request, the government of Japan has decided to sell propellers from Maritime Self-Defense Force rescue planes to the U.S. forces so they can be used in C-27 transport planes to be given to the Afghan Air Force, sources said.
The U.S. government had asked the government for assistance in reconstruction in Afghanistan, they said, and Japan hopes the decision will deepen the Japan-U.S. relationship, the sources said.
Prior to its decision, the government of Japan consulted with the Defense Ministry and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry to determine if selling the propellers would infringe on Japan’s three rules on arms exports, which effectively ban sales of defense equipment and technology.
Following the consultations, the government concluded the propellers are multipurpose item that are not subject to the embargo.
A total of 20 used propellers are currently stored at the MSDF’s Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture and at its Air Supply Depot in Chiba Prefecture.They are expected to be handed over to the U.S. forces as early as March, according to the sources.
The United States plans to provide 20 C-27 transport planes to the Afghan Air Force, and the 20 propellers could be used to outfit 10 transport planes.
The secret request was initially received in August last year from Michael Schiffer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia,, the sources said.
- Daily Yomiuri Online
News 5 AgustaWestland AW139s for Gulf Helicopters, AgustaWestland, AgustaWestland AW139, aircraft models, airplane models, AW139, AW139 helicopters, AW139s, Gulf Helicopters, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, warplanes, wooden airplane models
AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced the signing of a contract with Gulf Helicopters of Qatar for five AW139 helicopters. The aircraft will be equipped for offshore passenger transportation operations. This latest contract adds to the one for twelve aircraft placed by Gulf Helicopters in 2007 as part of its fleet renewal program.
Emilio Dalmasso, Senior Vice President Commercial Business Unit, AgustaWestland said “We are very pleased that Gulf Helicopters, one of the leading operator in the Middle East, has decided to expand its fleet of AW139s with the further five aircraft. This follow on contract is clear evidence that the AW139 is the helicopter of choice for offshore transport operations in the Middle East, due to its high performance and safety features.”
The only new generation helicopter in its weight class, the AW139 has rapidly become the benchmark helicopter in the medium twin market. Over 350 aircraft are now in service performing offshore transport, VIP/corporate transport, EMS/SAR, law enforcement, utility and other missions. Orders for almost 500 units have been placed by more than 140 customers in approximately 50 countries so far, with nearly a quarter of all sales made in the Middle East.
Gulf Helicopters have been providing helicopter services since 1970 working with companies throughout the Middle East, India and North Africa. It is owned by Qatar Petroleum, through a holding Company, Gulf International Services and General Public of State of Qatar. Gulf Helicopters has its own in-house maintenance facility with a team of highly qualified and experienced engineers undertaking fleet maintenance and modification work. It is also an authorized service center for AgustaWestland for their AW139s and is also one of the first Helicopter Companies to have its full flight simulator for AW139 for its operations and third party use.
Blog Articles, Navy COMPTUEX, cvn 77, CVN-77 George Bush, George H.W. Bush (GHWB) Carrier Strike Group, JTFEX, newest aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)
The George H.W. Bush (GHWB) Carrier Strike Group is certified ready for combat operations after successfully completing its first Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX), Feb. 21.
The Strike Group assets departed their various homeports on or about Jan. 19 to begin final exercises before embarking on its first overseas deployment scheduled for spring of this year.
“This Strike Group was absolutely ready for these exercises, and our Sailors hit the ball out of the park,” said Commander, Carrier Strike Group Two, Rear Adm. Nora W. Tyson. “This is America’s newest strike group in America’s newest aircraft carrier, and our team is strong and ready to go. At the end of the day, COMPTUEX and JTFEX are really tests of our ability to work as a team, and we nailed it.
From the Sailors on USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) supporting the squadrons in the air wing to the cruisers and destroyers doing their job protecting and defending the carrier along with performing maritime security operations, everyone did their part, and because of that, this team excelled.”
During COMPTUEX, the GHWB Strike Group entered into an intensive training scenario loosely based on geo-political conditions from around the globe. The scenarios, designed and executed by Strike Force Training Atlantic (SFTL), simulated many real-world situations that the GHWB Strike Group could encounter on deployment, including small boat attacks, mines, strait transits in hostile waters and aerial, surface and sub-surface threats. Each scenario built on the one before, testing both the individual components of the GHWB Strike Group, as well as its collective effectiveness.
COMPTUEX was a 23-day evolution, and included all assets within the Strike Group, from the flagship George H.W. Bush to the squadrons of Carrier Air Wing EIGHT (CVW-8), the guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64), USS Monterey (CG 61), and USS Anzio (CG 68), Destroyer Squadron 22 ships USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and the Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan de Borbón (F 102). All told, nearly 7,500 Sailors played a direct role in the evolution.
“The amount of coordination that goes into an exercise like COMPTUEX is phenomenal. The only way it works, the only way the assets within the Strike Group accomplish their own individual missions, is if they communicate effectively and work together. That teamwork mentality is vital, and our success during COMTPUEX and JTFEX tells me that this Strike Group is ready to deploy in support of our nation’s interests and execute any tasking we may receive,” said Tyson.
On Feb. 11, George H.W. Bush moored pierside at Naval Station Mayport for the carrier’s first ever liberty port. During the three-day visit, Sailors participated in events sponsored by the ship’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office, including trips to Walt Disney World and the Daytona International Speedway, as well as a community relations project at the Florida Baptist Children’s Home in Jacksonville. Other Strike Group ships visited Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, and Key West.
“The scenarios [the crew] experienced during COMPTUEX/JTFEX are based on real-world operations today’s carrier strike groups can expect to face in the deployed environment,” said FitzPatrick. “Geo-political situations are fluid and ever-changing across the globe, and leadership needs the multi-mission flexibility a strike group brings to their area of responsibility. The mission of our carrier strike groups can change at a moment’s notice depending on real time events, and the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Sailors are ready to deploy and accept any mission given to them.”
“The Navy’s carrier strike groups are critical to the nation’s maritime strategy,” said Tyson. “Our combined capabilities allow us to deploy to any region around the globe to lend support, whether it’s to U.S. forces on the ground or to mariners in distress or to countries reeling from natural disaster. We are a powerful force for good, and our success during COMPTUEX and JTFEX is proof that this Strike Group is ready to take on any tasking we are given.”
- US Navy
News aircraft models, airplane models, BAE Systems, Hawk jet trainers, Hawk trainer aircraft, helicopter models, model airplanes, model helicopters, model planes, plane models, warplanes, wooden airplane models
Underpinning the growing importance of support and services to its business portfolio, BAE Systems has announced yesterday, Feb. 21, a new GBP8.3M contract to continue support of Hawk jet trainers at the NATO Flying Training program based in Canada (NFTC).
The contract with prime contractor Bombardier ensures the timely delivery of both scheduled and unscheduled servicing and technical support services, including responding to queries from the NFTC program.
The continuing collaboration between BAE Systems and Bombardier has seen the introduction of a number of process improvements and through life cost savings, which has resulted from extending the period of time between scheduled servicing.
Martin Rushton, Senior Vice President Training Solutions and Support said, “BAE Systems welcomes this contract extension. Working closely with Bombardier has led to a range of cost saving solutions being introduced. The Hawk Mk115 fleet has one of the highest aircraft flying hour totals in the Hawk trainer aircraft world and with the fleet exceeded 75,000 flying hours in the last ten years, it is vital we deliver a reliable and cost-effective support solution”.
There are 11 NATO Air Forces in the NFTC programm either as participants or instructors.
The Hawk is a tandem two-seat aircraft and has a low-mounted cantilever monoplane wing and is powered by a non-augmented turbofan engine. The low-positioned one-piece wing was designed to allow a wide landing gear track and to enable easier maintenance access. The wing is fitted with wide-span, double-slotted, trailing-edge flaps for low-speed performance.